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Meeting Thoughts, Visions and Speculations: a destructured congress

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Meeting Thoughts, Visions and Speculations
B. If the congress appears too over-structured
C. If the congress appears too unstructured
Tao in large groups
A congress as a meditation
Mapping who's where?
Rediscovering the wheel I: Types of person and congress processes
Redscovering the wheel II: Congress communication - why, what and for whom?

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Notes for the 1st New Age Congress (Florence, February 1978). Published in: Transnational Associations 31, 1979, 9, pp. 429-435 [PDF version]
[see also A Congress that Dared the Unthinkable: report on the First New Age Congress]



A. Facilitative guidelines
B. If the congress appears too over-structured
C. If the congress appears too unstructured
Tao in large groups
A congress as a meditation
Mapping who's where?
Rediscovering the wheel I: Types of person and congress processes
Redscovering the wheel II: Congress communication - why, what and for whom?

A. Facilitative guidelines

1. This is your congress, You are making it happen. How it evolves depends on choices you make from moment to moment and from day to day. Not choosing is also a choice.

2. There are others here with very different priorities, expectations and contributions. Are you sure you know what they bring and how it relates to where you are and where you would like to be ? Are you sure you are making it easier for them to know how your energies and concerns relate to theirs ?

3. Each has something important to contribute. But few of us are particularly skilled at doing so. Are you sure you are not over-stressing what you feel to be most valuable - at the expense of other themes ? Who is going to give you the helpful feedback you need ? Will you appreciate it when it is given

4. The congress may at some time appear too unstructured to you. Check the symptoms and suggestions listed below. Remember that some people feel oppressed and constrained by order and procedure - they have had too much of it and it has not taken them where they believe they want to go. They tend to feel that nothing meaningful is happening. They prefer more spontaneity. They may have a point of which you are not aware,

5. The congress may at some time appear too over-structured to you. Check the symptoms and suggestions listed below. Remember that some people are not as secure and independent as you are. In addition they find that a fair degree of structure takes them where they believe they want to go, and lack of it takes them nowhere. Maybe they have a point of which you are not aware. Process is not everything.

6. How can you balance your preferences against those of others without tearing the congress apart ? What is your creative response to this dilemma? Remember that how you respond to the congress situation is probably an intensified model of how you respond to the outside world. Maybe you can learn from your own frustrations.

7. Periods of more or less structure should ideally compensate and balance each other - that is how the congress "breathes". The whole problem is to ensure that it alternates in a smooth manner between the two extremes, rather than being blocked at one extreme or being subject to other irregular or exaggerated rhythms. (It is a manifestation of the group yinyang cycle, with all its problems and potentials - how can we become collectively aware of the tao of the congress situation ?)

8. This congress is not just an occasion on which to focus on how transformation can be brought about elsewhere and sometime in the future. The congress here-and-now and as a whole is a powerful transformation process in its own right. To the extent that we are aware of it, and of how we function in it. we can obtain many insights of significance to us personally and collectively, and for the world around us. Its power as a transformation process depends directly on our ability to enter, through ourselves, into the harmony of the congress processes - whether in their structured or unstructured forms.

9. As you become aware of the congress process, you will quickly be able to improve upon this set of notes. Wherever you are coming from, you have your own unique insight which can facilitate the congress process.

Document distributed at the New Age Congress, Florence, February 1978 (see review in Transnational Associations. 1978, 5. pp. 266-270).


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